According to craftinlearning.com, DeSoto County, Mississippi is located in the northwest corner of the state and was established in 1836. It was named after the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who is credited with discovering the Mississippi River in 1541. Throughout its history, DeSoto County has been home to many different cultures and peoples, including Native Americans, Europeans and African Americans. The first inhabitants of DeSoto County were Native American tribes such as the Chickasaw, Choctaw and Cherokee. These tribes lived off the land by hunting and gathering food from the forests and streams. In addition to their subsistence lifestyle they also traded with each other and with European settlers who began arriving in the area during the 1800s. During this period many European settlers moved into DeSoto County seeking economic opportunities or fleeing religious persecution. These settlers established small farms in what is now known as Southaven, Hernando and Olive Branch. They also built churches to practice their faith which led to a large influx of Baptists into DeSoto County during this time period. In addition to European settlers, African Americans were brought into DeSoto County as slaves to work on plantations owned by wealthy landowners. After emancipation these African Americans stayed in DeSoto County forming small communities throughout the county such as Walls, Walls Station and Nesbit. Today, DeSoto County is a vibrant community that offers its citizens a variety of activities including shopping centers, restaurants, parks and historical sites such as Chimney Rock Plantation which was built by one of the county’s earliest settlers William Eubanks in 1830s. It is also home to several museums such as Southaven Towne Center Museum which showcases artifacts from early life in DeSoto County including farming tools and Native American artifacts. DeSoto County, Mississippi has several school districts that serve the students in the area. The DeSoto County School District is the largest and serves over 30,000 students in grades K-12. It is comprised of 28 schools including 16 elementary schools, 8 middle schools, and 4 high schools. The district also has several specialty programs such as special education, gifted education, career and technical education and a virtual academy. The district is committed to providing a quality education for all its students and has adopted several initiatives to ensure this goal is achieved. These include a 1:1 technology program for all students in grades 3-12 which ensures each student has access to digital learning resources; an early childhood literacy program that seeks to improve reading proficiency for young learners; and a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) courses which provide students with the skills necessary to succeed in college or pursue technical careers. In addition to the DeSoto County School District there are two other public school districts serving DeSoto County. These are the Hernando School District and Olive Branch School District which both serve smaller populations of students within their respective cities. The DeSoto County Schools provide parents with a wide range of options when it comes to finding the right educational environment for their children. Parents can choose from traditional public schools or opt for private or charter schools as well as home schooling options if they wish. The school district also offers an array of extra-curricular activities such as athletics, music programs and student clubs so that all children can find something they enjoy participating in while attending school in DeSoto County. Check thembaprograms.com to learn more about Mississippi geography.